Recipe: Seared Scallops with Lemongrass-Tomato Confit from ‘The Nimble Cook’


Building upon the tomato confit recipe from The Nimble Cook: New Strategies for Great Meals That Make the Most of Your Ingredients by Ronna Welsh, this variation is delicious atop seared scallops, though it’s easy to imagine it brightening up a seared fillet of fish or shrimp, as Welsh recommends, or a thicker cut of fish like a swordfish steak, too. And note: I didn’t have lemongrass on hand when I made this, and it was still terrific. Read the full cookbook review here.

Image below of The Nimble Cook with an illustration @ 2019 by Diana Vassar

Serves 1 (can be modified for multiple servings)Prep time: 5 minutes (not including 30 minute prep of confit)Cook time: 5 minutesTotal time: 10 minutes

For each serving:

1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

4 (2-ounce) dry-packed scallops, tough side muscle removed

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1½ teaspoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

½ tablespoon minced lemongrass

1 teaspoon seeded, minced jalapeño chile

½ cup Confit Tomatoes (page 148), with their juices

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Flaky sea salt



Heat a skillet over high heat. Add the oil; it should heat through immediately, and with a couple of tilts run loosely across the pan’s surface. Quickly season the scallops on both sides with the kosher salt, then place carefully in the pan. Sear, untouched, until well browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for 2 minutes more. Remove the scallops from the pan and let them rest on paper towels.

Turn off the heat and pour off any excess oil from the pan. Add the butter, ginger, lemongrass, and jalapeño to the still-hot pan. Stir for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes with their juices and the lime juice. Fold in the cilantro.

Spoon the tomatoes and sauce into a serving bowl. Top with the scallops; finish with flaky salt.